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Among Others Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It starts well - the first-person journal of 15-year-old Mori, who has lost her twin sister in an accident caused by her black magic mother in an incident involving fairies and an explosion. The details aren't entirely clear, but we catch up as Mori moves away from the maternal side of her family to meet her father Daniel (who left when she was a baby) for the first time and attend a private girls school in Oswestry in 1979. Mori has a passion for reading, especially SF, and we watch as she ingratiates herself into an SF book club which meets weekly. Her father also reads avidly and there are many, many mentions of SF books - Zelazny, Heinlein, Le Guin, Silverberg and many other authors are referenced in mostly glowing terms.
There are some wonderful tributes to authors, books and libraries. I loved libraries when I was young and I think the author did as well. "Interlibrary loans are a wonder of the world and a glory of civilisation" enthuses Mori, breathlessly, but I can't help but agree with her.
But there are some problems for me with this book. Firstly there is less a plot, than a series of opportunities to mention books. And the interesting part of the back story (witch mother, dead twin) is never explored in any detail and we are left to guess most of it. The fairies themselves are actually quite well done, being difficult to both see and converse with.Read more ›
In Jo Walton's Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel Among Others, however, it's almost the other way round. Teenage narrator Mori comes from a family of witches and has spent her childhood talking to fairies with her twin sister in the Welsh valleys. But at the start of the novel, recently bereaved and estranged from her terrifying mother, Mori finds herself in the care of a father she's never met and sent to an English boarding school where magic is in decidedly short supply.
If this makes Among Others sound like a cutesy, comic children's book, don't be fooled. It's aimed at adults (although I imagine many teenagers would thoroughly enjoy it) and although it is indeed funny in places, its overall tone is wistful and occasionally very sad, although there's a pleasing undercurrent of hope throughout. Obsessed with fantasy and sci-fi novels and academically gifted, but with an eccentric perspective that makes her awkward among her peers, it's hard not to love Mori as she narrates her story through a series of diary entries, even when her decisions are dubious.
And yet, the thing that I enjoyed most about Among Others is something I haven't really seen any reference to yet in any other reader reviews (I haven't read any reviews by professional critics yet) - which is that it's very hard to say whether Mori really is magical at all. As she explains herself, magic makes things happen by causing 'chains of coincidence'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this book above all expectation. Wonderful protagonist and gives the reader uneducated in Scifi (ie me) a list of books to investigate and enjoy.Published 9 months ago by Bard Groupie
This is quite simply the best book I've read in ages. The language was lovely and I could hear the Welsh lilt as I read. Read morePublished 12 months ago by KW
Nearly very good and worth a read. Learned a lot about which Sci fi writers to go for!Published 12 months ago by D. Bromley
Among Others' won nearly every fantasy award going in 2011, and it's clear to see why. Yes, it's fantasy (the main character performs magic and sees fairies), but told in such a... Read morePublished 13 months ago by J Wesley
I felt a bit cheated by this book and that msg Watson chose cleverness over delivering a really good yarn. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is the second book by Jo Walton I've read and she is emerging as one of my favorite authors. This is neither a coming of age story, a nostalgia trip to the late '70's/ early... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tales of a Librarian
<i>Among Others</i> is a treasure of a book. In many ways, it doesn't feel like a book at all: Mori come across more like a friend than a character; I want to debate her... Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. Lloyd
I purchase this book with another book The Quick and Ive never been more disappointed with a story than with these two books
Although Among others is very relaxing easy... Read more
A book about magic that deals with it in such natural terms that it becomes plausible, because it is so unobtrusive. Read morePublished 20 months ago by J. Ang